The Indian rupee experienced a setback, breaking its seven-day gaining streak, as it depreciated by 4 paise to 83.05 against the US dollar in early trade on Friday. Foreign investors hurriedly withdrew funds, responding to a substantial surge in crude oil prices.
Despite a weaker American currency and buoyant equity markets, the overall sentiment was marred when US data revealed a higher-than-expected increase in inflation for December. This development has dampened hopes of an imminent interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, according to forex analysts.
Investors are now turning their attention to domestic inflation numbers scheduled to be released later in the day, contributing to the cautious atmosphere in the financial markets.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened weak at 83.08 against the greenback, sliding further to touch 83.10. The domestic currency later settled at 83.05 against the dollar, marking a loss of 4 paise from its previous close.
Thursday saw the rupee settling 2 paise higher at 83.01, concluding its seven-session upward trend, during which it gained 31 paise since January 2’s level of 83.32 versus the dollar.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, measuring the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.07 percent lower at 101.95 on Friday.
Adding to the economic complexities, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, surged by 1.83 percent to USD 78.83 per barrel, putting additional pressure on India’s import-dependent economy.
In the domestic equity market, the 30-share benchmark Sensex rose by 291.29 points, or 0.41 percent, to 72,012.54. The broader Nifty also saw an increase of 79.55 points, or 0.37 percent, reaching 21,726.75.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers on Thursday, offloading shares worth Rs 865.00 crore, as reported by exchange data.
On the macroeconomic front, the income tax department announced that net direct tax collection for the fiscal year increased by 19.41 percent to Rs 14.70 lakh crore, reaching about 81 percent of the full-year target.
Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das provided assurance on Thursday, stating that the interim budget to be presented next month would not lead to inflationary pressures. He emphasized that the government has already implemented several measures to contain the rise in prices. Investors will be keenly watching for further developments in both domestic and global markets as they assess the impact on the rupee’s trajectory in the coming days.
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